|Essential Nutrients : Minerals | Vitamins | Carbohydrates | Proteins | Fats | Diets | Lab Test | Food|
|Posted By : Dr.Harinder Batth, MBBS , M.S ( Orthopedics)|
|Posted On : 18 Oct 2007 (Total Views : 2685)|
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Osteoporosis, which means "porous bones," causes bones to become weak and brittle ? so brittle that even mild stresses like bending over, lifting a vacuum cleaner or coughing can cause a fracture. In most cases, bones weaken when you have low levels of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals in your bones
A common result of osteoporosis is fractures ? most of them in the spine, hip or wrist. Although it's often thought of as a women's disease, osteoporosis also affects a significant number of men. And compared with the number of women and men who have osteoporosis, many more have low bone density. Even children aren't immune. Yet it's never too late ? or too early ? to do something about osteoporosis. Everyone can take steps to keep bones strong and healthy throughout life.
Signs and symptoms
In the early stages of bone loss, you usually have no pain or symptoms.
But once bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
A full cycle of bone remodeling takes about two to three months. When you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. You reach your peak bone mass in your mid-30s. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more than you gain. At menopause, when estrogen levels drop, bone loss in women increases dramatically. Although many factors contribute to bone loss, the leading cause in women is decreased estrogen production during menopause.
Your risk of developing osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass you attained between ages 25 and 35 (peak bone mass) and how rapidly you lose it later. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have "in the bank" and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age. Not getting enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet may lead to a lower peak bone mass and accelerated bone loss later.
What keeps bones healthy
Three factors are essential for keeping your bones healthy throughout your life:
When to seek medical advice
Early detection is important in osteoporosis. Consider your risk factors, then discuss your prevention strategy with your doctor. If you're a woman, it's best to do this well before menopause
Fractures are the most frequent and serious complication of osteoporosis. They often occur in your spine or hips ? bones that directly support your weight. Hip fractures, the second most common type of osteoporotic fracture, usually result from a fall. Although most people do relatively well with modern surgical treatment, hip fractures can result in disability and even death from postoperative complications, especially in older adults. Wrist fractures from falls also are common.
In some cases, spinal fractures can occur without any fall or injury simply because the bones in your back (vertebrae) become so weakened that they begin to compress. Compression fractures can cause severe pain and require a long recovery. If you have many such fractures, you can lose several inches of height as your posture becomes stooped
Getting adequate calcium and vitamin D is an important factor in reducing your risk of osteoporosis. If you already have osteoporosis, getting adequate calcium and vitamin D, as well as taking other measures, can help prevent your bones from becoming weaker. In some cases you may even be able to replace bone you've lost.
The amount of calcium you need to stay healthy changes over your lifetime. Your body's demand for calcium is greatest during childhood and adolescence, when your skeleton is growing rapidly, and during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Postmenopausal women and older men also need to consume more calcium. As you age, your body becomes less efficient at absorbing calcium, and you're more likely to take medications that interfere with calcium absorption.
How much calcium and vitamin D?
Premenopausal women and postmenopausal women who use HT should consume at least 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium and a minimum of 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day. Postmenopausal women not using HT, anyone at risk of steroid-induced osteoporosis, and all men and women over 65 should aim for 1,500 mg of calcium and at least 800 IU of vitamin D daily. Getting enough vitamin D is just as important as getting adequate amounts of calcium. Not only does vitamin D improve bone health by helping calcium absorption, but it also may improve muscle strength. Scientists are continuing to study vitamin D ? which may also protect against certain types of cancer ? to determine the optimal daily dose, but it?s safe to take up to 2,000 IU a day.
Although many people get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight, this may not be a good source if you live in high latitudes, if you're housebound, or if you regularly use sunscreen or you avoid the sun entirely because of the risk of skin cancer. Although vitamin D is present in oily fish such as tuna and sardines and in egg yolks, you probably don't eat these on a daily basis. Calcium supplements with added vitamin D are a good alternative.
As for calcium, dairy products are one, but by no means the only, source; almonds, broccoli, cooked kale, canned salmon with the bones, oats and soy products such as tofu are also rich in calcium. If you find it hard to get enough calcium from your diet, consider calcium supplements. Supplements are inexpensive and generally are well tolerated and well absorbed if taken properly. Sometimes calcium supplements can be constipating. If this is a problem for you, drink more water and try using a fiber supplement. In addition, check the type of calcium you're using. Calcium phosphate and calcium citrate tend to be less constipating.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements are most effective taken together in divided doses with food.
Other tips for prevention
These measures also may help you prevent bone loss:
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